Yusei Kikuchi, Kodai Senga: Blue Jays Sweep Mets 6-4

AP Photo/John Minchillo
Top: New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Sunday, June 4, 2023, in New York.
Bottom: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi (16) throws in the first inning of a baseball game against the New York Mets, Sunday, June 4, 2023, in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) — Brandon Belt broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the New York Mets 6-4 on Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. also went deep for the Blue Jays, who blew a four-run lead but quickly recovered. Toronto has won four straight and six of seven after completing its fourth sweep this season and the first in franchise history against the Mets.

“Sweeping a team is really hard no matter where you are or who it is,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “I thought it was really a complete team effort over the weekend.”

Tommy Pham hit two of New York’s four solo homers, his ninth career multi-homer game and first since April 2019 with Tampa Bay. Pete Alonso and Starling Marte also connected for the Mets (30-30), who completed a 3-3 homestand that started with a three-game sweep of Philadelphia.

“I guess as of right now we’re a .500 ballclub,” Alonso said. “They’re a really good team over there. We were in every single one of these games. We had a chance to win all of them. So it’s frustrating, but we’ve got to come back and play our best and win ballgames.”

Nate Pearson (3-0) gave up Alonso’s major league-leading 21st homer and Marte’s tying drive in the sixth before Toronto regained the lead against Dominic Leone (0-2). Alonso’s 72nd homer at Citi Field made him the career leader at the ballpark.

Guerrero, who homered in the third off Kodai Senga, ripped a single to center field in the seventh. Belt followed by hitting a slider off the protective wall surrounding the home run apple in center.

“I saw it hit off something, but I wasn’t really sure what it was,” Belt said. “I knew once I saw it hit off the black part it was a home run.”

It was Belt’s third homer and first since May 10 at Philadelphia. It also was his second in New York this season — the veteran first baseman went deep April 21 at Yankee Stadium.

Belt’s drive came after he struck out in his first three at-bats. He is hitting .347 (25 for 72) over his last 25 games.

“Huge home run. But his at-bats this weekend, just really lately it’s been really consistent,” Schneider said.

After getting the go-ahead hit in the ninth inning Saturday against David Robertson when the Mets chose not to walk him, Guerrero homered for the first time since hitting a grand slam in the ninth at Tampa Bay on May 23.

Whit Merrifield hit an early two-run double off an ineffective Senga. Matt Chapman doubled and scored on a two-base throwing error by rookie catcher Francisco Álvarez.

Pham homered in consecutive at-bats off starter Yusei Kikuchi, who allowed two runs and four hits in five innings.

Jordan Romano tossed a 1-2-3 ninth for his 15th save in 18 opportunities.

Pitching on four days’ rest for the first time in the majors, Senga gave up four runs — three earned — and four hits in a career-low 2 2/3 innings.

“There were a lot of times where their lineup would take a lot of the off-speed offerings,” Senga said through a translator. “There were adjustments that I needed to make in game and I wasn’t able to do that.”

The Mets totaled just five runs in the series and fell back to .500 for the 11th time. New York also lost for the seventh time in 12 games since winning five straight May 17-22.